Category: Theory of History Wide Open



Ethan Kleinberg – Consider the Komposita “KoselleckConceptGhost” (Koselleckbegriffgespenst). The agglutination is not stable, and it is unclear which term should lead the way. If it is Koselleck, or Koselleck’s ghost, that leads, then the injunction is to investigate the semantic value of the word “ghost” to determine whether there has been a change in its valence and significance over time.


Translating Koselleck. Challenges

Victor Neumann – Translation from German into Romanian requires terminological equivalences for two national communities with different linguistic origins, heritages, and cultural landmarks, and which live in different temporalities. Since the meaning of modernity is different, translating a fundamental concept into Romanian requires contextualization and an understanding of its meaning in both languages. Translating Koselleck requires motivating the reader, inviting them to become a co-discoverer of the other’s past and present and their own, as well as to encounter the personal experience and memory of the historian.
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Traducîndu-l pe Koselleck. Provocări

Victor Neumann – Traducerea din limba germană în limba română necesită echivalări terminologice pentru două comunități naționale avînd origini lingvistice diferite, moșteniri și repere culturale diferite și trăind în temporalități diferite. Fiind vorba de un înțeles diferit al ideii de modernitate, traducerea în limba română a unui concept fundamental înseamnă informare, contextualizare, o înțelegere a semnificației lui în ambele limbi. Cît privește traducerea lui Koselleck, aceasta necesită motivarea cititorului, asocierea lui în calitate de co-descoperitor al trecutului și al prezentului celuilalt și al său propriu, familiarizarea cu experiența personală și memoria istoricului.
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Three Memorable Excursions with Reinhart Koselleck

Jeffrey Andrew Barash – In 1982 I took the initiative to write to Reinhart Koselleck, although I had never met him, to ask if he would be willing to serve as the sponsor of my application for an Alexander von Humboldt-Fellowship. I had just defended my doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago, entitled Martin Heidegger and the Problem of Historical Meaning, and I returned to Paris to apply for grants that would permit me to rewrite my thesis for publication as a book. Upon receiving my letter, Koselleck kindly invited me to give a talk in Bielefeld on a topic of my choice.



Federico Marcon – An investigation into the semantic value of “fascism” immediately presents the paradox of a term that confronts us, on the one hand, with connotative clarity—everybody instinctively understands that it means something bad—and, on the other, with a bewildering excess of meanings. Its polysemy is an embarrassment for historical semantics, which strives to contain and order its content, as it is for the practitioners of Begriffsgeschichte, who attempt to register its variations from a core meaning that “fascism” does not have.


Stones and Jinns. Time between Layers of Sedimentation and Hauntology

Margrit Pernau – Koselleck’s metaphor of the layers of sedimentation (Zeitschichten) was and continues to be one of his most productive ideas. Instead of assuming a neat division between the past and the present, this metaphor allows to explore ways in which the past retains its presence in the present. Like in the process of sedimentation – Koselleck here draws on geological knowledge – older layers of history never disappear, but get overlaid by newer deposits. Koselleck’s metaphor has repeatedly translated into visuals.

What conditions should not prevail? History-based learning. Plea for a negative approach to history-based learning

Philipp McLean – The argument unfolded by Lisa Regazzoni in her contribution And If History Were to Turn Its Back on the Future? A Thought-provoking Interjection, which questions the clear intentional and controllable connection between past and future, also opens up significant problems for learning from history. As a conceivable solution to this problem, the negative reference to history(s) is proposed here in order to reflectively derive from history(s) which social conditions should be avoided in the future; without, however, predicting these very developments with teleological certainty or assuming an inevitable development with regard to the improvement of freedom possibilities.
Beitrag in Deutsch Post in English


Climate(s) of Change: Towards a “Radical” Concept of History Education in the Anthropocene?

Andreas Hübner – The planet we live on “is a world of our making, but not of our choice.” This proposition, put forward by Georges Monbiot, illustrates the challenges the world faces today just as it illustrates the challenges that historical thinking and historical learning are called to face. Yet, in history didactics, responses to current (climate) crises are mostly normative; and, to recall Christian Heuer’s reference to dealing with ‘uncertainty’ in teaching history, they are often rooted in “the modern idea and euphoric hope of being able to shape a better future by ‘looking back’.”
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Quo vadis, History of Religion? Outline of a Historical-Theoretical Problem

Jana Kristin Hoffmann – The study of religion and its history in the 20th century is booming. Taken together, however, scholarly research and findings resemble a diffuse patchwork. The application of theory in the field of the history of religion may also be described as ambiguous, chaotic, and unclear. The question thus arises: what part does the theory of history play in the study of the history of religion? To what extent does the history of religion need theory?
Beitrag in Deutsch Post in English

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